An auction of stones and timbers from York Minster held on Friday 15 August has raised over £44,000 towards ongoing works to conserve and repair the Gothic cathedral.
The auction, which took place in Dean’s Park, adjacent to the Minster, attracted hundreds of people eager to take home a souvenir from the historic building. The stones had all been removed over recent years during works to conserve the masonry, and replaced with new stone, whilst the timbers were removed following the 1984 fire in the South Transept.
Around 200 smaller stones and timbers were also available to buy, with every one selling within an hour of the sale opening.
“It has been absolutely fantastic to see so many people eager to take home their own little piece of York Minster’s history,” comments Superintendent of Works, Rebecca Thompson. “These stones may have sat for years in storage before they were carefully selected for sale, and it is very reassuring to know that every penny from the sale of these stones will go back into the building, helping maintain it for future generations.”
In total, 112 large pieces and 200 timbers were sold in the auction. Bids for larger pieces ranged from around £80 to £2,000, with many destined to adorn gardens and homes around the region.
Geraldine Robinson from Osbaldwick visited the auction with her family, and purchased two small stones, two small timbers and a larger stone. “We came down yesterday for a look at the preview, and I saw one that I particularly liked – and I managed to win the auction with a bid of £160. The smaller pieces will be given as presents, but the larger stone will become part of a bench in the garden,” says Geraldine.
The total figure raised by the auction – £44,086.80 – doubled last year’s £22,000 total.
The annual stone auction is one of two key public events in the calendar for York Minster’s Stoneyard. On Friday 12 September, the public will be invited to tour around the workshops on Deangate, and climb to see the latest works at the top of the East Front as part of York Minster’s Stoneyard Open Day.